CLAREMONT — Coach Kristen Case said this special season for the Newport Harbor High girls' tennis team has been more about the journey than the destination.
Monday's match at the final destination, The Claremont Club, didn't go the way the top-seeded Sailors wanted. They fell to unseeded San Marino, 11-7, in the CIF Southern Section Division II championship match.
The tears in the eyes of the players at the end were strictly because that journey was over.
"I feel like we've all grown such strong bonds," said senior Lauren Conway, one of three senior starters along with the doubles team of Riley Mathies and Alex Aiello. "Riley and Alex, I've been on the team with them since I was a freshman. We've all been through a lot. I feel like I'm more upset that I'm leaving all these girls than [upset] that we lost, to be honest with you. I'm upset because we won't be coming to practice everyday and seeing each other. We wanted to end it on a high note, but I feel like getting to the finals is a pretty big accomplishment. I feel like we represented our school well, so I'm happy."